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Pan Kids champion Gabriel Silva talks about ambition, Jiu-Jitsu Con challenge and IBJJF GP analysis

Gabriel Silva foi campeão do Pan Kids nesse ano. Foto: Reprdodução/Instagram

Gabriel Silva is a young American Jiu-Jitsu talent. The son of black belt Vicente Júnior, Gabriel is a standout in the sport’s youth divisions. The orange belt became Pan Kids champion in July with an impeccable performance. He has also won gold at the European Kids and was runner-up at this year’s Brazilian Championships.

Gabriel has a distinctive style and is dangerous both on top and on the bottom. He has a dangerous guard, capable of setting up sneak ambars attacks, for example, but he is also relentless in getting to one side control. In an interview with VF Comunica, Gabriel emphasized that challenging himself in the championships is an extra fuel that motivates him.

“I started challenging myself a bit after I started competing. I started to think that whatever I do, I have to win. Also, I challenge myself to do better every day I train. This helps me to push myself and always train hard for each competition. The more I set myself challenges and goals, the better my performance seems to be in training and competitions,” reveals the young champion.

The orange belt has ventured into the division above his original one, but minimizes this fact. He relies on his finishing game to win the main competitions.

“Although I’m fighting in a higher division than I’m used to, I’m not treating this fight any differently than any other. A fight in a new division is still just a fight. However, I will take into account that the person will be heavier than my usual opponents, so some techniques that I could execute more easily in my original division may be more difficult to complete in this new one. As I said, I still see it as just a fight that I normally do and I’m ready,” says Gabriel.

Gabriel Silva recognizes that his opponents are hungry to beat him, so he guarantees that he needs to be at the top of his game to maintain his hegemony and remain dominant.

“I don’t feel much pressure, but I definitely care about my status, and I know that the others in my division are looking for the status that I have. I know that my opponents will try to win the gold and the title that I currently have, but I’m not worried about that. I can’t afford to lose a second to make it easier, or the victory could go to the person I’m fighting. So I never stop trying. If I play my game and fight well, I’ll keep my place,” says Gabriel.

Being an example on and off the mats is a difficult mission for athletes. Preparation requires dedication, effort and discipline and is seen as the most complicated part of the process by many fighters. Gabriel shares this view and admits that it is necessary to give up certain desires in order to be a Jiu-Jitsu star.

“The coolest part is being able to represent my team and show my skills on some of the biggest stages. I love competing, it’s one of my favorite things to do. But the hardest part is the preparation. There’s no rest, you have to work hard constantly on the mats and, in general, it’s very difficult. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to give my best in competitions, the training is very hard, but I’m happy about that. Off the mat, I usually go to the gym to work out and I also eat healthily to maintain my weight. During the school year, I’ll be doing more work consistently, accurately but still quickly, so that I can have more time to train, exercise and also have my own free time,” says the American.

As well as being an athlete, Gabriel Silva is a fan of the sport and follows the championships. He analyzes the IBJJF Absolute Grand Prix to be held this Friday, September 1, in Las Vegas and gives his guess.

“The Absolute GP is really good. We’re going to see some great matches. If I had to choose, I’d see Victor Hugo winning everything. He’ll certainly have some good fights, but I think he’ll take this title home,” confirms Gabriel.

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Written by Gabriel Almada

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